Russell A. Berman

Senior Fellow

Russell A. Berman, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a co-chair of the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

At Stanford, he is a member of both the Department of German Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford, and he specializes on politics and culture in Europe as well as in the Middle East. He has served in numerous administrative positions at Stanford, including as chair of the Senate of the Academic Council.

He is the author of numerous articles and books including Enlightenment or Empire: Colonial Discourse in German Culture (1998) and The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma (1986), both of which won the Outstanding Book Award of the German Studies Association (in 2000 and 1987, respectively). Hoover Institution Press published his books In Retreat: America's Withdrawal from the Middle East (2014), Freedom or Terror: Europe Faces Jihad (2010), and Anti-Americanism in Europe: A Cultural Problem (2004). His other books include Fiction Sets You Free: Literature, Liberty, and Western Culture (2007), Cultural Studies of Modern Germany: Representation and Nationhood (1993), Modern Culture and Critical Theory: Art, Politics, and the Legacy of the Frankfurt School (1989), and Between Fontane and Tucholsky: Literary Criticism and the Public Sphere in Wilhelmine Germany (1983). He has also published numerous articles in the Hoover Digest, most recently "Marx’s Moldering Manifesto" (fall 2018). His writings have also appeared in Defining Ideas and Advancing a Free Society.

Berman has received many honors and awards including a Mellon Faculty Fellowship at Harvard University (1982–83), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1988–89), and the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany (1997).

Berman received his BA in 1972 from Harvard and his doctorate from Washington University in 1979.

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Recent Commentary

Featured Analysis

The Sahel After Afghanistan

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Sahel and the states bordering it are sites of significant jihadist activity that will derive considerable encouragement from the Taliban victory in Afghanistan: Islamism will be on the upswing everywhere. In the Sahel in particular, such violent extremism plays out against the backdrop of weak political structures, poor governance, intercommunal conflicts, and profound economic challenges. These are poor states with growing populations.

Caravan Notebook Podcast
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The Syrian Crisis: A Focus on Daraa, ‘Cradle of the Revolution‘

interview with Joel D. Rayburn, Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan Notebook
Friday, September 10, 2021

A discussion with Col. (Ret.) Joel Rayburn, former US Special Envoy for Syria.


Russell Berman: In Search Of A Biden Foreign Policy

interview with Russell A. Bermanvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, September 9, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Russell Berman discusses his Hill article "US in desperate need of a foreign policy renewal."


Russell Berman On The Lars Larson National Podcast

interview with Russell A. Bermanvia Lars Larson National Podcast
Monday, August 30, 2021

(50:20) Hoover Institution fellow Russell Berman discusses his Hill article “US in desperate need of a foreign policy renewal.”


US In Desperate Need Of A Foreign Policy Renewal

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Hill
Friday, August 27, 2021

The Biden administration promised to return American foreign policy to reliability and international leadership after the disruptions of the Trump years. Yet its egregious mismanagement of the exit from Afghanistan has damaged America's global standing and undercut the credibility of three of the administration's foreign policy planks.


Russell Berman On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Russell A. Bermanvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Russell Berman discusses his Telos article "The Consequences of Afghanistan: Comments on Girard."


The Consequences Of Afghanistan: Comments On Girard

by Russell A. Bermanvia Telos Press
Thursday, August 12, 2021

Renaud Girard is an American-born French journalist, the author of several books on world affairs, especially the Middle East. In this trenchant commentary on the Afghan debacle, he recognizes the defeat for what it is, bluntly invoking the collapse of the imperial German army at the end of the First World War. Is that an overstatement or an unflinching naming of the collapse of an order? 


Biden’s Surrender To Merkel On Nord Stream 2

by Kiron K. Skinner, Russell A. Bermanvia Foreign Policy
Monday, July 26, 2021

His support for the pipeline abandoned a bipartisan consensus, got nothing in return, and made the world less secure.

Analysis and Commentary

Lebanon Left Behind: What America Can Do To Save Beirut

by Russell A. Bermanvia National Interest
Sunday, July 25, 2021

There is clearly no political appetite in Washington for costly foreign initiatives, especially not in the Middle East. Yet there are important steps it can take to move Lebanon toward stability without outsized costs.

Caravan Notebook Podcast
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Mohammed Bin Salman And Saudi Arabia

interview with Ben Hubbard, Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan Notebook
Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A discussion with Ben Hubbard, author of MBS.